Bob White played an historic role in building working class understanding of key principles: the need for workers to control their own class institutions; the need to maintain an understanding of the conflict of interests between workers and employers, the need to maintain a capacity to collectively struggle and resist, a rejection of competitiveness as a goal or concessions as a strategy, and the need for unions to develop an independent political capacity.
The BCTGM is organizing to protect its members and their community in Chicago. However the odds of success appear stacked against them. Job security has become the key issue in the national negotiations between Nabisco and the BCTGM, in which the company is also trying to eliminate the multi-employer BCTGM pension plan for all plants. Nabisco was recently purchased by the stridently anti-union Mondelez, a global food conglomerate.
The tentative agreement reached between the ILWU and the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association (PNGHA) would impose a major reduction in working conditions and shop floor power, including the loss of the union controlled hiring hall, and no overtime pay until after 12 hours. The agreement would prevent work stoppages because it would allow the employer the right to use its own managers to replace union workers during work stoppages.
National Public Radio blog
Los Angeles Times
It was clear from the beginning national IAM officials were upset with the Nov 13 overwhelming rejection of their deal with Boeing and they seemed to be making the point more emphatically by ordering a new vote. Obviously disappointed with the national leadership, a longtime IAM member told me “this rushed vote is not right,” and pointed out “35% of our members are on vacation during this period,” unable to get the information and participate in a democratic discussion